Mindfulness, Heartfulness, Soulfulness

A HaMakom Day Retreat

Sunday 7 November, 10am-5pm UK time

In-person at the Jewish Vegetarian Society, Golders Green
Online via Zoom

  בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽך…בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ֤ בְּבֵיתֶ֙ךָ֙ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ בַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּֽבְשָׁכְבְּךָ֖ וּבְקוּמֶֽךָ

“with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might…when you sit in your home and when you go on the way, when you lie down and when you get up…”

Inspired by the words of the Shema, which enjoin us to practise with our whole heart and soul, on this day retreat we will inquire: what is meditation for? Is it limited to something cerebral? Or, have we made an enemy of what is cerebral? We will explore some of the ways that our ideas about meditation might be broadened, some of the infinite possibilities, whether we are new to it, have been meditating for decades, or anything in between. What may open is a sense of the great range of our choices, and our capacity to make meditation practice suitable and appropriate for the details and the various dimensions of our own lives, whatever they may be, and however they evolve.

The day will include periods of meditation, chanting and teaching, as well as opportunities to share and connect with each other. It will be led by Zac Newman and other members of the HaMakom faculty. We are delighted that Maxine Levy will be joining us to offer some yoga, too; as with every aspect of the retreat, it will be gentle and optional, and adaptable according to your body and your needs. No prior experience of meditation, yoga or anything else is assumed or required in order to participate.

Our in-person venue is: Jewish Vegetarian Society, 855 Finchley Rd, London NW11 8LX

Click here for more information about the Jewish Vegetarian Society.

If you have any questions, or you would like to discuss something, please contact Zac, at: zac@hamakom.community. He is here to help, and will welcome hearing from you.
We are sensitive to two things in particular in relation to Covid-19, and the in-person aspect of this hybrid retreat: 
1) There will no longer be any legal Covid-19 restrictions at the time of this retreat.
2) There remain risks nonetheless, and we wish to do everything we can to keep everyone safe.
With these in mind:
– We have limited the numbers joining in-person, so there will be plenty of space to maintain social distancing for those that wish to.
– We will keep windows open for ventilation whatever the weather, so please bring clothes/blankets to keep yourself warm. 
– Wearing a mask will be optional for each individual.
– We ask everyone to bring their own lunch.
– If, between booking a place on the retreat and the retreat itself, you experience Covid symptoms or are asked to self-isolate and therefore are unable to attend, a full refund will be issued.
– If you are clinically vulnerable, please make your own decision about whether this retreat will be safe for you.
If you would like to discuss anything further, please feel free to contact Zac, on zac@hamakom.community. We are here for you and will support as best we can.

The registration fees are the same whether you join in-person or online.

Standard Rate: £35

Scholarship Rate: £15 – available to all who cannot afford the Standard rate

Supporter Rate: £65

The Supporter rate is an invitation to help keep HaMakom accessible to all by paying a higher rate, and thereby enabling those who would not otherwise be able to, to come on the retreat at a subsidised rate. We are deeply grateful to all those who allow us to offer scholarship rates to those who need them, and make available practices for grounding and healing rooted in the Jewish tradition.

Retreat fees go solely towards HaMakom’s operating expenses, and do not include payment to the teachers for leading our retreat. In the Jewish tradition of generosity/Chesed, the teachings are offered freely. At the end of the retreat, there will be an invitation to make a donation to the teachers and to offer additional financial support to HaMakom.

If you cannot afford the Scholarship rate please contact our Retreat Manager, Zac at: zac@hamakom.community. No one will be turned away because of their financial circumstances.

The Benefits of Jewish Mindfulness Meditation

(from: The Institute for Jewish Spirituality)

We are dedicated  to introducing this practice into the Jewish world for several reasons:

  • to enliven and enhance Jewish prayer, celebration, ritual and community;
  • to be part of working for the betterment of our fragile and vulnerable planet; and
  • to recognize the true and deep sources of happiness in a world filled with seductive, competing and ultimately unsatisfying short-term fixes.

How can Mindfulness Meditation Help?

Mindfulness meditation is training the mind. Just as we go to the gym to make our bodies stronger and more flexible, so mind training helps make our minds more spacious, perceptive and most of all free.

We train our capacity to pay attention by turning our attention, like a flashlight, on our own minds. This helps us see more clearly the nature of our own minds. We become aware of the patterns and habits that run our lives but have not been previously visible.

We begin to realize that these patterns and habits may serve our goals, desires, and purposes – but often they do not. We start to realize that there actually is a “pause button” built into our system. This pause button can be activated when we become triggered by an event outside ourselves and are tempted to act in reactive, patterned and unskilful ways.

The “pause button” wakes us up, creates a space in our mind where we can ask the question: ”What is the skilful, wholesome, wise, goal oriented action I need to take in this moment?” “What are my choices here?” The development of this capacity for inner freedom is why we train in mindfulness. This can be profoundly useful in our lives, especially in our relationships, and in any task we undertake to realize our dreams or express our creativity.

By cultivating attention, we are also able to feel more satisfied with each moment of our experience.

We learn to rest in this moment as it unfolds.

We learn to bring our awareness to the flow of energy in the body which is the very miracle of our aliveness. We learn to be more receptive to the fullness of each moment, rather than resisting what has already occurred or projecting what is not yet here. We learn to notice the arising and passing of all experience, recognizing how short and precious this life is.

We learn to treasure each day for the miracle it is. This is itself a source of happiness. According to modern neuroscience, the mind is a dynamic flow of experiences rather than a fixed state. When we experience this for ourselves, we feel less isolated, less caught in judgment and adversity, and more open to the mystery and majesty of this very life.


Meditation retreats can be beautiful and powerful journeys of healing and transformation. However, due to the intensity of the experience, they are not necessarily safe and appropriate for everyone at all times. We therefore ask potential participants to be aware of the following: If you have suffered an episode of mania in the last six months this retreat is not safe and appropriate for you. Please do join us on retreat when there has been more than six months since your last episode of mania. If you have ever received a diagnosis of psychosis, intensive meditation retreat is not safe and appropriate for you.

If you have a history of trauma or serious mental health challenges, retreat may be appropriate and beneficial for you. It is important that you are in touch with us in advance so that we can ensure this retreat will be supportive for you. We want to make retreat as welcoming as possible, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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Email: rabbidanny@hamakom.community

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